The Germany international has been in great form for the Gunners over the past two seasons and has formed a great partnership at the back with Laurent Koscielny, keeping Thomas Vermaelen sidelined for much of the season.
The 29 year old has played a prominent role in moving Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table, but has just over 18 months left on his current deal and Wenger admits he is keen to extend the German’s stay at the club.
According to Goal, he said:
We are in the process of extending Mertesacker’s contract. He has one-and-a-half years left – there is plenty of time.
Mertesacker was signed by Arsenal for £10 million from Werder Bremen in August 2010 and was initially criticised for his below par performances, making a number of mistakes. But since then he has adapted well to English football and uses his intelligence and reading of the game to make up for his lack of pace. The rise in stature of the German has seen club captain Thomas Vermaelen become marginalised under Wenger and the Belgian has been limited to just one league start this season.
He is also an established member of the German national team, having earned 94 caps to date and scored the winner against rivals England on Tuesday.
He has been nothing short of incredible this campaign and is a big part of Arsenal’s brilliant start to the season. In his nine appearances, not only has he won 80% of his tackles, but he’s also come out on top of 20 of his 32 headers. He is a giant in the air and is also good with the ball at his feet as he has completed 91% of his passes. His average of six defensive actions a game is only bettered by his central defensive partner Koscielny, again underlining how important the German has been to Arsenal’s solidity this season.
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His absence was keenly felt in Arsenal’s most recent league outing against United as he was unavailable due to a virus but is expected to return to the Arsenal starting XI for the weekend encounter with Southampton at the Emirates Stadium. Although the length of the contract is unknown, it would be expected it will be at least a 2-3 year extension. He will be key to our success this season and he definitely deserves a new long term deal.
Are you pleased to hear the Gunners are negotiating terms with the BFG? Feel free to comment below..